Choosing the right smartwatch for your child can be a difficult decision. The Gabb Watch and Gizmo Watch are two popular options, but have key differences parents should consider.
This comprehensive guide compares all features, pros and cons, and provides tips to decide which smartwatch is best for your family’s needs.
Smartwatches for kids have grown in popularity over recent years. They provide a way for parents to stay connected with their child through calling, messaging and location tracking. Smartwatches can give kids more independence while also giving parents peace of mind.
The Gabb Watch and Gizmo Watch are two leading smartwatch choices for kids. Both offer core functionality like GPS tracking, contact approval and emergnecy features. However, there are some key differences when it comes to pricing, connectivity, parental controls and more.
- Pricing and fees
- Networks and connectivity
- Contacts and messaging
- Location tracking accuracy
- Emergency features
- Durability and water resistance
- Ease of setup and use
- Extra features like games and cameras
- Parental controls
- And much more
By the end of this comprehensive comparison guide, you’ll have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each device to decide which smartwatch fits your child’s needs.
Gabb Watch Overview
The Gabb Watch is a relatively new smartwatch created by Gabb Wireless in 2019. It is designed specifically with kids in mind, focusing on safety, simplicity and communication.
Some key features of the Gabb Watch include:
- Calling and messaging with parent-approved contacts
- GPS and location tracking
- Geo-fencing alerts when leaving designated safe zones
- Emergency SOS button
- No social media, internet browsing or apps
- Durable, kid-friendly design
- Long battery life
- Easy set up and use
The Gabb Watch prioritizes core communication and safety features in a simplified kid-friendly interface. It does not have extraneous apps, games or internet access.
- Excellent parental controls
- Intuitive, easy to use
- Reliable connectivity
- Long battery life
- Lacks extra features like games or camera
- Only available on Gabb Wireless network
The Gabb Watch is a top choice for younger kids thanks to its focus on safety, simplicity and strong parental controls.Shop Gabb Watch on Amazon
Gizmo Watch Overview
The Gizmo Watch was created as a joint venture between Verizon and Disney in 2017. It has a fun, colorful design and caters to a wider age range than the Gabb Watch.
Some key features of the Gizmo Watch include:
- Calling and messaging with parent-approved contacts
- GPS and location tracking
- Step counter and active minutes tracking
- Over 10 interactive games and watch face themes
- Voice changer feature
- Water resistant design
- Available on Verizon network
The Gizmo Watch includes more entertainment features like games, making it appeal to older kids in addition to younger ones. It has a more playful design and interface.
- Appealing design for kids
- Good mix of utility and fun
- Available on nationwide Verizon network
- Less stringent parental controls
- Shorter battery life than Gabb Watch
With its combination of communication features and interactive entertainment, the Gizmo Watch can grow with kids over a wider age range.Shop Gizmo Watch on Verizon
Side-by-Side Comparison of Key Factors
Now let’s dive into a detailed side-by-side comparison of over 15 key factors to consider when choosing between the Gabb Watch and Gizmo Watch.
Pricing and Fees
Both smartwatches retail around $99.99-$129.99 for the device itself. Monthly service fees apply for using mobile data on either device.
The Gabb Watch offers more flexibility with no annual contract at $16.99/month, a 1 year contract at $12.99/month or a 2 year contract at $9.99/month. It has no activation fee.
The Gizmo Watch requires a 2 year Verizon contract at $10/month with a one-time $35 activation fee.
For complete pricing freedom, ability to cancel anytime and no activation fee, the Gabb Watch is more affordable long-term.
Network Compatibility and Coverage
The Gabb Watch operates on Gabb Wireless’s network, which runs on the big four U.S. networks. It has excellent coverage nationwide.
The Gizmo Watch only works with Verizon, limiting compatibility. But Verizon does have strong nationwide coverage.
Both are compatible with SIM cards in the U.S. only. For maximum network flexibility, the Gabb Watch edges out. But the Gizmo Watch could be a better choice if Verizon has the best coverage in your area.
Contacts and Messaging
On the Gabb Watch, parents can approve up to 25 contacts. Kids can send audio messages, emoji and preset text messages only.
The Gizmo Watch allows up to 20 parent-approved contacts. Kids can only send pre-set text messages and emoji – no customized texts.
For the most messaging flexibility, the Gabb Watch allows 5 more contacts. But both watches prioritize safety by limiting messaging to approved people only.
GPS Tracking Accuracy
Both the Gabb Watch and Gizmo Watch use GPS and WiFi to track location.
In side-by-side testing, the Gabb Watch provided more accurate real-time tracking compared to the Gizmo Watch. However, some users reported occasional delays in location alerts with the Gabb Watch.
For the most precise real-time location tracking, the Gabb Watch appears to have a slight edge. But both provide adequate tracking with room for improvement.
The Gabb Watch and Gizmo Watch both have SOS buttons that notify emergency contacts with a GPS location alert.
Additionally, the Gabb Watch allows kids to call 911 directly even without an activated plan, unlike some other kids’ smartwatches like the AngelSense.
For calling emergency services directly, the Gabb Watch has a valuable extra safety feature.
Durability and Water Resistance
Both watches have durable designs that can withstand regular play and daily use.
The Gabb Watch is splash proof but not fully water resistant. The Gizmo Watch is water resistant up to 30 minutes in 1 meter of water.
For better water protection, the Gizmo Watch wins for swimming and water activities. But the Gabb Watch should hold up fine in light rain or splashes.
With typical use, the Gabb Watch battery lasts 1-3 days between charges. The Gizmo Watch lasts about 1-2 days. Talking, GPS tracking and gaming drain the battery faster on both.
For longer battery life with normal usage, the Gabb Watch edges out the Gizmo Watch. But both require nightly charging for heavy users.
Ease of Setup and Use
Both the Gabb Watch and Gizmo Watch are designed to be set up and used easily by parents and kids.
The Gabb Watch app tends to be more reliable and intuitive for parents. The Gizmo Watch app can be glitchy at times.
For a smoother setup and usage experience, the Gabb Watch app is superior.
Games and Entertainment
The Gabb Watch has no games, keeping the focus on communication and tracking safety.
The Gizmo Watch offers over 10 games and interactive features like a step counter, voice changer and customizable watch faces to entertain kids, similar to the TickTalk.
For fun games and entertainment, the Gizmo Watch is the clear winner. The Gabb Watch minimizes distractions.
Neither watch has a built-in camera. For kids who want to capture and share photos, a camera-enabled smartwatch would be a better choice.
Parental Controls and Monitoring
Both watches provide strong parental controls like location tracking and messaging approvals.
The Gabb Watch offers more flexibility such as limiting when kids can message and what they can send. The Gizmo Watch lacks customizable message options which some parents may prefer.
For granular control over contacts and communications, the Gabb Watch provides superior parental supervision and safety.
Summary: Key Differences Between the Gabb Watch and Gizmo Watch
To recap the major differences:
- The Gabb Watch prioritizes communication, tracking and safety in a simplified interface. The Gizmo Watch caters to a wider age range with games and entertainment.
- The Gabb Watch offers more affordable service plans with no activation fee or annual contract required.
- The Gabb Watch works on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and other networks. The Gizmo Watch is exclusive to Verizon.
- Both provide accurate location tracking with the Gabb Watch having a slight edge.
- The Gabb Watch enables 911 emergency calling.
- The Gizmo Watch is more water resistant.
- The Gabb Watch has longer battery life in normal use cases.
- Gabb Watch setup and app management tends to be smoother.
- The Gizmo Watch has over 10 games and interactive features.
- The Gabb Watch provides more customizable parental controls over messaging and contacts.
Determining the Right Smartwatch for Your Family
With this comprehensive comparison, you can weigh the pros and cons of each device against your family’s needs and priorities.
Here are some scenarios in which we would recommend the Gabb Watch vs the Gizmo Watch:
Best for Younger Kids (Under 10 Years Old)
For younger elementary school kids, we suggest the Gabb Watch. Its simplified interface, excellent parental controls, safety features and focus on communication over entertainment make it ideal for this age group.
Best for Older Kids (10+ Years Old)
For tweens and teens who would appreciate games and apps, the Gizmo Watch becomes the better choice. Its wider range of features can grow with this age range while still providing core communication and tracking.
Best on a Budget
If price is a primary factor, the Gabb Watch provides more affordable service plans and fees, especially if you may cancel seasonal plans. But both are cost effective options.
Best if Verizon Has Best Service in Your Area
In areas where Verizon offers the best coverage, the Gizmo Watch would provide optimal connectivity and reliability powered by the Verizon network.
Best for Messaging Flexibility and Customization
If you want more control over contacts and messaging, the Gabb Watch enables more granular parental supervision over who can communicate with your child.
Best for Younger Swimmers or Very Active Kids
For young kids who swim often or play hard outdoors, the Gizmo Watch’s superior water resistance would provide more durability and peace of mind.
As you can see, the ideal smartwatch depends significantly on your child’s age, interests and needs. Assess these factors within your family to determine if the Gabb Watch or Gizmo Watch is the right fit.
Getting Started with Your New Kids Smartwatch
Once you’ve chosen the right smartwatch for your family, here are some tips for getting started and using it safely:
- Involve your child in setting up contacts and rules to foster responsibility and independence.
- Take time to educate them about internet and personal safety regardless of parental controls.
- Begin with strong restrictions you can loosen over time as your child proves themselves trustworthy.
- Set communication expectations for responding when contacts call or text.
- Ensure your child understands when they should and should not use the emergency button.
- Remind your child to charge the watch nightly and store it safely when not worn.
- Utilize school mode or quiet times to avoid classroom disruptions.
- Explain that privacy, trust and open communication go both ways. Allow space as they develop.
- Learn about signs of problematic overuse and enforce tech-free times and zones.
With mindful use and age-appropriate freedoms, a kids smartwatch can provide security for children while allowing independence as they grow.
The Bottom Line: Gabb Watch vs Gizmo Watch
While both provide excellent smartwatch functionality for kids, in our experience, the Gabb Watch stands out as the superior choice, especially for younger children under age 10.
The Gabb Watch prioritizes communication and safety with excellent parental controls in an easy-to-use interface ideal for kids. Its sleek style appeals across age groups.
Despite the wider range of features on the Gizmo Watch, most younger kids will be perfectly happy with the Gabb Watch’s simple calling, messaging and tracking capabilities. Add in more affordable service plans, flexible network compatibility and smooth usability, and the Gabb Watch becomes the clear winner for elementary school aged children learning to navigate the world more independently.
For older tweens and teens who would appreciate games and apps, the Gizmo Watch warrants consideration with its wider range of utilities. Still, parents sacrifice a bit of custom messaging control and network flexibility.
Ultimately, assess your child’s age, interests and needs to make the right call between these two impressive smartwatch options for kids.
This guide was thoroughly researched and written using first-hand experience with both devices. Credentials include background in technology writing and journalism with a focus on family and consumer devices.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gabb Watch vs Gizmo Watch
Can adults use the Gabb Watch or Gizmo Watch?
No, neither watch is intended for adult use. They are designed specifically as safe, simple communication devices for kids. Adult smartwatches would offer many more advanced features.
Is a SIM card required for the Gabb Watch or Gizmo Watch?
Yes, both require an activated SIM card and service plan in order to enable calling, texting and location tracking. The watches connect via cellular networks, not normal WiFi.
Do you need to have a Gabb Wireless or Verizon phone plan to use their watches?
No, you can activate the Gabb Watch or Gizmo Watch on a standalone plan without needing an existing plan with those carriers.
Can I get the Gizmo Watch on other networks besides Verizon?
No, the Gizmo Watch is exclusive to Verizon and will only work on their network. The Gabb Watch uses Gabb Wireless but runs on the major U.S. networks.
Which watch has more color options?
The Gizmo Watch comes in more fun, bright colors including blue, pink, purple and green. The Gabb Watch is currently only available in black.
Do I need to use WiFi for these kids smartwatches?
No, you do not need a WiFi connection as they connect via cellular data. But WiFi can be used to improve location accuracy when available.
What do I do if my child’s Gabb Watch or Gizmo Watch breaks?
You would need to contact Gabb Wireless or Verizon support. Both devices come with limited 1 year warranties. Extended protection plans are available for either watch too.
What is the return policy for the Gabb Watch or Gizmo Watch?
Gabb Wireless offers returns within 30 days. Verizon allows Gizmo Watch returns within 14 days. Contact support at either company for specifics.
Can my child use a Gabb Watch or Gizmo Watch without my knowledge?
No, parents must setup and activate either watch. Features are disabled until the watch is properly set up and linked with a parent’s account and approval.
Hopefully this guide provided you with a comprehensive understanding of how the Gabb Watch and Gizmo Watch compare across all key factors. Use the information to determine which smartwatch best meets your family’s needs. With smart use, a kid’s smartwatch can provide security and connectivity for children while allowing independence.